The Good Neighbor Cookbook

The Good Neighbor Cookbook by Sara Quessenberry and Suzanne Schlosberg, Andrews McMeel, 2010, $16.99, 195 pages

You’re thinking that you can barely get dinner on the table for your family, and now you’re expected to cook for neighbors too?! But a little casserole goes a long way but whether it’s a new baby or a broken leg, sometimes you just want to help out.

So this book isn’t organized by course but by situation–book club, block party, or business gatherings. Though I can’t see soy-ginger chicken drumsticks or coffee-rubbed baby back ribs as the best choice for a business meeting or church coffee, but there’s no reason to save Lime and Chili Crab Dip or Sweet Tangerine Cake just for book club. You can have the Red and White Chili bubbling for the cookout, and offer a recuperating patient the sustenance of Chicken and Vegetable Soup or Turkey Dill Meatloaf.

For someone who claims in her introduction to be a harried cook, Schlossberg works with Quessenberry to develop some creative twists on comfort food. Recipes like Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins, Chipotle-Pineapple Guacamole, or Thai Watermelon and Shrimp Salad keep it interesting for the cook and delicious for the diners.

What really makes these recipes work is that many of them can be cooked from what you’ve probably got on hand. Or at least with a quick lunchtime stop at the supermarket. You may end up keeping Smoothie Kits on hand for breakfast, even without a new baby in the house or relying on Crustless Spinach Quiche as a weeknight regular.

These recipes are just like your perfect neighbor–friendly and approachable, perhaps a little bit spicy, but very interesting.

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About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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